Tag Archives: Dr. David Katz

everyday movement inspiration

24 Apr

3992106452_fbffd3e6b0Time can fly as you sit for extended periods of time.

You become engrossed in email, writing papers, reading articles, responding to requests, and all of the sudden you’ve been sitting for 3 hours straight!

Here are some tips on being more mindful of movement while sitting:

  • Get up every hour: set yourself a google calendar alarm, or any other sort of alarm that works for you. A constant reminder to get up might just do the trick!
  • Activity bursts: like our advisor Dr. David Katz encourage us to do – get up and do some jumping jacks, we just did and boy does it make a difference!
  • Stretch it out with these yoga poses: neck rolls, seated forward bends, eagle arms and stand up pigeon here + back and shoulder release, chair twists and side stretches here
  • Take a fresh air break! Go outside, and take a 10 minute walk. You’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed and clear headed.
  • Learn more about stand up desks, and make your own set up work for you!

What keeps you jazzed and moving while working?

Photo courtesy of Dominic’s pics

better than candy

5 Apr


A wonderful dried fruit to keep on hand for days when you just want something sweet.

It’s helpful to stock up on foods that you know are better for you than others. This will help inspire you to eat more natural foods vs. processed foods, since they will simply be out of reach.

Prunes and other dried fruits like dates, apricots, raisins satisfy that sweet tooth every time! Prunes are a fantastic source of various nutrients like vitamin K, fiber and potassium.

No recipes here, just our enthusiasm for pure unadulterated prunes. So go on, and prune it up!

Photo courtesy of eLaboureur

future of food in 2050

5 Nov

Last week the nation celebrated Food Day, a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. The marquee for the event was a conference entitled Future of Food 2050.

Our advisor Dr. David Katz was a guest panelist at the event, speaking alongside Eric Meade, Vice President and Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative Futures and Andrea Thomas, SVP for sustainability at Walmart.

We had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Katz prior to the event, asking him some of our questions regarding the future of food. Here are some highlights:

Butter Beans: What will the role of the lunch server be? Will there be an educational component to school cafeterias?

Dr. Katz: The only food options will be wholesome, mostly direct from nature, mostly plants. Education about food will be culture-wide, and by 2050 there won’t be much need for it in cafeterias anymore.

Butter Beans: Will nutrition education be incorporated into state and national education standards?

Dr. Katz: Yes. Food literacy will be as important and universal as any other kinds of literacy. There will be gaps, as there are with literacy, but not for want of embracing it as a priority.

Butter Beans: What will Myplate look like in 2050? What will the ratio of meat:vegetables be?

Dr. Katz: Meat will be optional/discretionary. MyPlate will no longer exist because the government will have acknowledged its conflicts of interest, and outsourced dietary guidelines to an independent organization such as IOM.

Butter Beans: How do you see the role of nutrition and food education evolving in schools and government policy?

Dr. Katz: The primary driver of dietary change will be culture change, and that in turn will change the food environment. Good choices will be easy choices, and often the only choices – reducing the burden on the educational system. But education about food choice, food important, food effects, food selection, and food preparation will be universal because these will be considered basic, modern survival skills.

Dr. Katz also noted that, “In the case of food, much depends on whether we make decisions while we still have options, or have decisions imposed on us because our options have run out. 2050 will look one way if we choose to update our culture, and quite another if we wait for demographic, economic, health and ecological calamities to make our choices for us.”

What will the state of our food system look like in 2050? Dr. Katz reflected that if our culture deemed that our health mattered as much as our wealth, you would see investments in our health increase.

Dr. Katz believes that we have to find ways to get our culture to think of health as a form of wealth, and not address health issues after they have manifested themselves, rather address them beforehand. He promotes prevention as a solution to health problems down the road, and in his vision of 2050 we are all much better off than we are now, as long as our culture collectively decides, and acts on creating a better food future for all.

Photo courtesy of trendhunter.com and usda.gov

Wal-Mart’s new “great for you” seal. What does it mean?

24 Feb

Walmart-Great-For-You-logoWal-Mart is debuting its new green and white seal placed on foods that are “great for you.”  Wal-Mart has placed these seals on packaged fruit and vegetables, along with their in-house products that contain “lower levels of fat, sugar and artificial additives.”  Their motivation behind implementing this new seal is to help consumers easily see healthier choices that are available to them.

Why is Wal-Mart taking on this initiative?  A direct result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign.  This past January, the First Lady met with Wal-Mart executives to help launch their “Nutrition Charter” which seeks to help families access affordable and healthy foods.  The Nutrition Charter is based on the following three pillars:

  • Reformulate products to improve nutrition by 2015.
  • Make healthy food more affordable.
  • Empower consumers to make informed choices by implementing a healthy seal.

We think that Wal-Mart has the right idea by directing consumers to foods that are less processed, helping lead them to make better decisions.  On the other hand, Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, and Founder of NuVal – a food labeling system developed in 2008, raises concerns that the “great for you” seal generalizes food too simply into two categories: good or bad.  For example, the system may reward the seal to products like walnuts and iceberg lettuce, but does not reward the seal on lightly sweetened green tea or butter.  If consumers only follow the seal, they miss out on incorporating key nutrients into their diets, and would have a more narrow view on what foods are good or bad for you. Then there is the question and issue of objective labeling..

Our quick tip for the next time you go grocery shopping anywhere, is to read the ingredient list.  It is generally best to stick with foods with ingredients that you can both recognize and source easily in your mind, and that you can pronounce.

Want to know what products are being rewarded the Wal-Mart seal? click here.

Interested in learning about the history of food labeling?  Check out this blog.

Photo courtesy of planetforward.ca

Getting fit – five minutes at a time!

16 May

Dr. David Katz – a man we appreciate for his dedication to public health, has just launched a support system to make exercising in the midst of our busy lives, easier. Activity Bursts Everywhere (ABE for fitness) are available online and show fitness experts giving you a 4-8 minute burst of exercise that can be done whether you are at home, in your office, in a waiting room, at the park – just about anywhere you might find yourself with a few minutes to spare. Co-workers routinely go out for cigarette breaks, or go down the hall for a coffee break – what if you and the folks you spend your days with took quick activity breaks instead? You would probably get a few more laughs in your day along with some muscle tone. Activity breaks work wonders for kids when there is a concentration overload, adults are no less susceptible. Check out this site and try one out. I just spent 4 minutes on my core and feel great!